What does it take to live a balanced life, in health and fitness and… all? Gosh, that’s one question that has, or rather, had me stumped.
You see, today is the last day for the PATH TO FIT challenge with Whole Foods and Garmin. You can see my personal goal for PATH TO FIT post here. Anyway, for this last week, they asked us to share how we live a balanced life with fitness and healthy eating. I pondered… a lot.
I kind of did the opposite of what most would do for a New Year’s Challenge. I ditched the resolutions and focused on fun activity and flavorful meals. Nothing to really measure.
I focused more time on doing what I LOVE in every day movement.
Hiking, a little yoga, and teaching my weekly strength class. I did NOT ADD anything to my fitness, in fact, I simplified it. I took out the “need to run X many miles per day” mantra and replaced it with “just move, enjoy, and play.”
I did the same with food. I love cooking. I love fueling others (and myself), I love creating flavorful gluten free food. So I focused on nourishing all three, key word here NOURISH. And it felt AMAZING! I wondered… “Is this what it takes to live a balanced life?”
So the question remains…
what does it take to live a balanced life?
Here’s what I have found works for me (us). Which will probably be different from someone else’s “balanced” approach. Hey, we work differently, yes?
Okay, here goes!
- Playing to your strengths –> what you LOVE and brings you JOY. That sticks!
- Recognizing where you are OFF balance and being able to adjust where you need to. Whether that be more rest, more steps, less wine (whoops), more family time, more sleep, more vegetables, more healthy fats, etc.
- Asking for help where you need it AND when you need it. You may be strong, but sometimes that downward pull of an OFF balance life takes an extra hand to get it back up to where you can stand up right. Ya know?
I guess you could say that living a balanced life means always being a little OFF balanced, but working on it, and being okay with being a continuing “work in progress.”
I know I’m okay with that. Progress is good!
So is THRIVING, not STRIVING.
To wrap things up, I’d like to offer ANY of you all (yes, international readers) a chance to win a GARMIN Vivofit and my favorite new Whole Foods Supplement, Mushroom Matrix NRG. I will ship these to whomever, because they are too good not share.
Garmin vívofit has helped me monitor my steps, periods of movement, calories needed each day, and sleep. The Mushroom Matrix NGR has helped me get in my Vitamin D and B Vitamins through organic mushrooms and herbs, infused with natural fruits. NRG Matrix is also great in supporting mental clarity and physical endurance. And yes, I found this at my WHOLE FOODS and fell in love!
Update: The giveaway has ended and the entry form has been removed from this post.
What do you think it takes to live a Balanced Life?
For more links on living a balanced life, check out here, here, here, here, and here. Then go grab some healthy chocolate recipes here. Or if you need some extra motivation, read HERE!
Happy Sunday Link up friends.
- Facebook i’m finally on it as Cotter Crunch! Click here Cotter Crunch FB
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- Email- [email protected]
- Bloglovin-Cotter Crunch
This post was the last of a series of six posts that I’m doing in partnership with Whole Foods and Garmin to share my #PathToFit this year. The garmin was sent to me for free, but all opinions are my own, always.
I love the ‘thriving not striving.’ I think that really shares what life in relationship with Jesus is. We can’t work our way to heaven, but we can thrive in the amazing gift of Jesus salvation.
Amen to that friend!
I just found you, and I love your friendly picture, and lovely photos to go along with some nice advice!
For me balance is self-care. And I love what you said about finding things you are truly in love with or passionate about – the reward has to be strong enough for us to stick with a habit, otherwise some other “reward” will make us turn another direction.
Someone else also mentioned about balancing several balls at one time – I agree. Sometimes I need to take more of the simplify advice though, as an art therapist and blogger who also does her own art and loves distance running, and as a family – some days the best thing I can do is not much. 🙂
Thanks for the thoughts, and I hear you on the SAD. It’s so important that you recognize this for yourself. You are probably aware that there are lots of great resources including special lights that you can sit in front of. It seems you have the exercise and eating right covered.
I try to stay relaxed and listen to my body, if I need a rest day I take it. If I NEED a cookie I have one, it’s all about balance 🙂
I think balance is key – it allows you to enjoy life while not going overboard!
I lead a balanced life by creating boundaries
Balance is an elusive goal but definitely something we should all try to achieve. For me, balance means prioritizing family with me time and then getting to the rest when I can. Like everyone, there are times when I am less balanced but always if I have to focus on one thing for a while, I am coming back to the center as quickly as possible.
Balance requires lots of rest, listening to myself, sweating, and balancing greens with chocolate!
A balanced life is about doing what you love. It isn’t focusing too much on one thing.. I eat clean and exercise…a lot. So, yesterday I treated myself to wine and Skittles. It’s all about balance 🙂
I think for me balance is going with the ebbs and flows. Sometimes I have no choice but to shift my priority to my work, or my training, sometimes it’s family. That’s life. For me I think that balance is adjusting each priority as needed. This could be daily, or weekly or monthly. Sometimes I adjust this multiple times a day. Being able to go with the flow and make sure that all things are accounted for. Things come up, and being able to adjust helps keep my stress level down when they do!
Oh man, how I’ve missed reading your blog. You’re an inspiration, and I really love your reflections on what balance means to you. I feel the same way… especially the part about being a work in progress. Life is so rich, full of experiences… and it’s awesome that we get to take care of ourselves and others through it 😀
xoxo, love always
i’ve missed you! catch me up soon! xxoo
after battling anorexia and bulimia, balance is all about doing what is best for my body. it means listening to my cravings, good or ”bad”, and being more in sync with myself. it is something im working on on a daily basis 🙂
I just love you, Lindsay..More and more..Yes, it really is about thriving and nourishing..and not comparing ourselves with others bc that is a dead end! So I’m learning to love myself for who I am, focusing on doing what I love and finding enjoyment and peace in all that I do. You’re an inspiration to many and you MUST continue 😉
It takes a lot of cooking meals at home to live a balanced life. If I feel well fed and nourished, then I have the energy and motivation to stay healthy in other areas of my life, like fitness, sleep and friends.
balance for me is healthy eating and exercising daily, but allowing myself the flexibility to choose only those foods or activities I truly crave or enjoy.
I love your blog post signature- cute!
Ah- trying to live a balanced life…not easy! I think you have it nailed down quite well though! And I think it’s important to list simplicity first.
Sam @ PancakeWarriors
For me a balanced life would be me spending more time doing the things I love. Balance lately has been getting more sleep, cutting back on workouts to study for my CPT, and cooking a lot. Recipe development has brought me such joy, I know I’m on the right track when I get time to do it. Thanks for giving me a moment to reflect on my balance! xo my friend
I need balance in my life so bad and I know it. I said it was going to be the year of Me and No. Not selfishly but as a mom I put everyone else first which works most of the time but like my husband said if I’m not happy nobody is. It is more I need to say no to friends, family, the girls school, ect. I have so much going on things I love and any time for myself comes last, I stress myself out but think I can handle it all. With family getting cancer, family in the hospital this isn’t going well and I have more on my plate than every and things cane crashing down last week. Doing a workout program, Insanity Max 30, that is already stressing my body, less sleep, I got up and did my workout only to put my back out and pinch my sciatic nerve the last 3 minutes of my workout. Took 2 days rest, as much as possible, trying to tolerate pain, thought stretching would help but made it worse Friday and was out for the weekend. Trying so hard to take it easy buy with everyone needing and counting on me it is hard. I want more than every to workout for stress relief but know if isn’t best even if I could attempt to push through the pain. I just need to stop caring if people think I am rude or selfish for saying no and so taking in so much, so much easier said than done but going to take your advise and your post as a sign. Thank you for sharing!
Running every day is critical for me. It affects my entire day and how I feel about myself. I think finding motivation is what helps me.
Heather @Fit n Cookies
It takes realizing what is the priority and what isn’t. When I try to get things that really don’t matter in life more precedence than the moments I want to remember, I get thrown off balance.
For me, the thing is to give myself permission to make mistakes and start over. I know what I need to do everyday- but if I don’t succeed in getting every single thing done every single day, that’s okay. I can celebrate tiny triumphs and small successes! And keep trying to do my best.
For me to stay balanced I eat healthy balanced diet, workout 2-3 times a week, and make sure I have time for myself.
Great post lady. I think it so important to recognise when you are off balance and need to come back to a centre. I love that your resolution is to do what you love and nourish. It is so amazing 🙂
sweet giveaway! & I like your thoughts on balance. Doing what I enjoy, while also seeking out challenges is a way I balance my life. I don’t ever see myself wanting to be content, yet I also want to have those certain things (and people) in my life that are my “home”. What I am secure in. Confusing? Probs.
not confusing at all. xxoo
Well said my friend. I’m not even sure how to actually describe balance. I just know I’m happier when I do it. I’ve also learned to recognize the signs I’m starting to get off balance and try to make adjustments. It almost always involves working less and just taking some time to be just me, calm and quiet. No craziness, or at least not the serious kind. I do love yoga for this reason. It gives me mental clarity. It’s amazing how much I can accomplish when I stop and take the time to be still.
Definitely needed this post! I am in that place right now where finding the balance is hard. Difficult seasons come and go but balance is key. Time for me to sit back and prioritize. So thankful you share with each of us through your blog.
Oh you said it!!
I think that playing to your strengths is crucial when thinking about balance. I’m still figuring it out but I LOVE the reminder.
Thank you for the tips! I hope the movement of becoming balanced catches on, because so many people are running themselves ragged!
Meg @ The Housewife in Training Files
Oh man. I have been battling that question for the past few weeks. I have really been trying to simplify my life and reduce my stress as I have a natural tendency to create problems when they are just another situation. So that is the best way for me to start balancing my life. By realizing there is no problems…just situations and how I react determines what path I will go down. And I have been really wanting to get one of those Garmin as I think it would help me to just move more and realize to get up and just live!
Balance for me is taking care of myself first, eating well, and exercising all while still having family time and keeping in contact with friends!
Gosh, I don’t know. That takes a lot of thought. I think balancing my time means most to me.
Emily @ Zen & Spice
Love this post! I’ve been working a lot lately on balance and trying to not get too overwhelmed. I found that not forcing myself to do exercise that I really don’t like has helped tremendously. Before I used to force myself to run or cycle when I found it really boring. But now I’ve found zumba and different aerobic videos that I love and it’s so much better!
I am still working on finding balance in my life. But I have found listen to your body is a huge thing. Also doing what makes you happy and not just doing something to please other people.
For me, finding a balanced life means listening to my body. I am trying to get away from having to do a certain type of workout or so many miles, etc. just because I feel like I have to in order to reach some goal. Instead, I now listen to what my body wants to do physically (especially since I’m prone to injuries) and I try and do the same in my eating. Some days are better than others, but I’m really trying to be good and kind to myself.
Thanks for the chance to win!
Love this! I have been eyeing up the vivofit for awhile! Finding a balanced life means making time to nourish my mind, body and spirit.
Renee @ Bendiful Blog
Balance is like a unicorn, we all dream about it but most of us will never see one. Usually when I feel the most balanced is right before everything falls apart, it’s like the dark before dawn.
I loved this. I feel the same about my fitness routine right now. I am working it in and finding things that bring me joy. It might mean running up and down my stairs for 15 minutes with the kids or getting out into nature for a walk. Doing things that nourish and strengthen. Avoiding the things that tear me down.
Love this post, lady. I completely agree that it’s important to know when you are out of balance and being able to adjust. Life is crazy right now and I’m definitely trying to keep check of things (specifically stress!). I also think sometimes, for me, it’s as simple as telling myself to just. take. a. breath.
I think balance is definitely a mindset I struggle at maintaining — I tend to be a mile-a-minute type of gal, so, for me, balance is really being able to step back and be in each moment.
Me time. I cannot give to this world in the way I want to unless I take the time to rest and recharge. Doing one thing a day purely for me keeps me in check 🙂
Live authentically to achieve balance.
Try not to stress about pace, miles, numbers, etc.
Get enough sleep….eat right….practice what I preach
All of those help me to maintain balance
Thanks for the reminder to “Live in the present”
You had me until “less wine.” LOL I feel that I have found more balance this year by ASKING for help. I cannot do everything on my own, but need to be more vocal about what it is I need help with. Great post! 🙂
I actually had to realize that “balance” does not exist.
It’s an ideal, it’s “perfection” … you know?
And it’s not acheivable.
Instead, it’s more like you wrote at the bottom. A tight-rope walk, priorites and time allocation and MAKING time for things you want to MAKE priorities.
Everything, a season…etc.
That’s my “balance” ideal. Realizing that there is a time for everything.
well said my dear, well said!
Making time for yoga!
flexibility and not rigidity – adapting to the changing demands of family, work, health etc. It’s a dynamic process and if we wait for everything to be perfectly in synch . . . . . we will eternally be frustrated 😉
YESS!!! Balance is SO important. I lost touch with that for a while, I’m working on getting that back though 🙂 Sometimes it takes simplifying your routine 🙂
Taylor @ LiftingRevolution.com
Great post friend. It takes patience and effort. Balance doesn’t just happen. If you allow life to get crazy, it will. Balance, is work. Or the ultimate prize for work!
Rest and nutrition are huge for me. If either of those become too out of whack everything starts to spiral.
Jody - Fit at 57
Love this Lindsay!!!!!!!!!
I have had to learn to listen to myself vs. others. I got way off track for a couple years listening to too many in the social media world about what was best for me.. going back to basics, listening to me more & just understanding if even if might might be better for me in terms of work or other things, if I am not happy doing it, well, it is not good for me.
I am not always great in asking for help….
Not allowing once certain area to take over my life. Making sure I take time for me whether that’s going for a run or even taking a step back and relaxing – makes all the difference in the world.
I think you did a great job describing it, and especially agree with the idea that if you find what you love, that will stick. For me, it means juggling many balls and not letting one get heavier than the others–when it does, it’s time to readjust!
A balanced life is had with perspective. I take 15 minutes a day of “me time” to give me the chance to refocus and look at things while taking a step back. This helps me to be a better Mom, be productive with my work, and keep stress levels lower.
I wish I knew the answer…I aim for balance by carving out me time so I can be the best mom, wife, friend, etc. to others. I enjoy life…that’s my best attempt at balance. 🙂
Not to give the cheesy answer, but my day is always imbalanced if I don’t get in some time with God in the morning! It calms and directs my heart and mind so much for the day ahead. I’ve also found that too much social media knocks me off balance. I start to think I need to be doing what “everyone” else is doing…which is usually not what’s good for me. And my family! They keep me in check 😉
For me it took gaining perspective. I have a tendency to obsess over things and getting older has helped me realize what it means to “balance”
Yoga helps me find balance and spending quality time with my hubby.
Jen @ Chase the Red Grape
I really don’t know the answer on how to find the perfect balance but I do try my best! focusing on what makes me and my husband happy in life really is our aim and we try to live by this rule. Talking and communicating with each other is also so important as we can share our stresses, helping each other to find solutions or alternatives.
Wonderful post Lindsay – perfect read to start my Monday morning 🙂
Bringing my thoughts to my intentions helps me find and keep a balance in life. It helps me narrow my focus to what is important to me. It sounds simplistic but it works when I get lost in all the, like you said, striving not thriving.
Melanie @ Nutritious Eats
That’s a hard question, but I know when I have it and when I don’t. For me just being more organized helps with the balance- there are so many pieces to fit in the puzzle. It’s certainly not easy!
Oh this SO SpeakS to me!! I am a little off balance currently and totally feel it. More time at home doing NO work is needed!
I need some physical activity, some mental stimulation, and some creative action. Every day. Then, I am happy and balanced.
(I have been taking Rx strength Vit D for a few months because my levels were SO low last fall. I am not just taking regular OTC strength, and I’m looking for a good brand.)
Linz @ Itz Linz
balance has to do with working out, eating healthy, and surrounding myself with people i love!
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf
I love love love your tips. It is about simplifying, recognizing and asking for help. love you.
It takes time.
Linda @ TheFitty
I think when I get a nice, deep tissue massage and have a good night’s rest. 🙂
Abby @ BackAtSquareZero
Working on getting the binging in balance and learning to be kinder and more loving to myself are my big struggles right now.
Candace @ The Wheatless Kitchen
Balance comes a lot easier for me when I am nourishing my physical, mental and spiritual self. Sometimes I focus too much on just one. But when my workouts are fun and not forced, I’m eating well and praying daily, that is when I feel the most balanced 🙂
Lindsay this is lovely and beautifully articulated. I especially love that you admit being balanced isn’t the same as being perfect.
I think for me, being balanced means finding joy and purpose in your everyday choices. Often I’m too much of a big picture thinker, to the point where I forget to live in the moment and cherish the people who are right in front of me.
Thanks for this reminder to thrive <3
i love that! and love YOU
Lori “getfitchick” Lanham
I have to find me time – which means gym time – or i start to get really cranky! I also have to make myself slow down and just have fun. If you don’t take care of yourself,then you can’t take care of those you love and need you. I learned that lesson long ago!
Hmmm…Balance. That’s a toughie. I struggle with that one a lot!
Beth @ Running with the Sunrise
Love this post! My big resolution for 2015 is to find balance in my life, so this really resonated with me. I, too, am focusing less on hitting a certain mileage or even a certain pace and am just trying to enjoy life. So far I’m feeling really good!
Cassie @ Rural Running Redhead
Balance to me comes along with prioritizing — accepting that I can’t do it all, so choosing what matters most and being satisfied.
Balance can be tough, especially when taking on new challenges. I find that with the recent addition of learning to swim, I’ve been trying to fit too much in. I need to make space for the swimming by backing off of other activities and adding more rest.
In order to achieve balance in my life I have to remember to say no sometimes and focus in my happiness and not always pleasing others
Fantastic! Balance is still something I am working towards (bit like you said being a little off balance can be a good thing) 🙂
For me, staying balanced starts with staying organized!
I having been struggling with balance since, well a long time, and I really enjoyed this post and look forward to implementing these ideas in my life. Thanks!
finding balance took time for me. I found it by getting out of my comfort zone. I stopped running. There were many reasons for the change but now I run when I want to not because I needed to get a certain amount of miles in each day. I quit the gym. No one has to go as dramatic as this but it worked for me. I knew I would workout regardless but I found working out at home works for me. Then I finally utilized everything I had fitness wise, videos, weights, pinterest workouts, books, programs, etc.
Once I found balance in fitness I found balance in eating. Then came quitting my second job. but thats a whole other story.
It wasn’t all at once but I just had to take a step back and think for myself and not worry about what everyone else is doing.
I love your blog, your attitude about life, food, and fitness, so thank you!
I still don’t have a set definition of a balanced life – what I have learned is the balance shifts often so that every day is a little different.
Sleep… I can’t balance/function with it! Also lots of plant foods!
Not going to lie, I wish we lived closer because I would love to eat waffles with you on my balcony porch this morning and shoot the shit. And then you could also tell me where you got those leggings you’re wearing in that yoga pose photo… And then we can throw waffle bits on people walking below us 😉
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
I love how you said being able to recognize the “unbalance”! That it so perfect! Balance for me is finding what truly brings joy to my life, but also challenges and pushes me to try new things!
LOVE your answer to this question and completely agree with you, and it is something I continue to work at as well, work in progress style! Your second point – recognizing when you are off balance and rightsizing it is right on, yet SO hard to do sometimes. But so so worth it. xo!
Tough question. Balance for me is not obsessing over things. The more I try to control, the less balance I have.
Eating healthy, working out, resting when you need to, getting enough sleep.
I’m inspired and motivated by this post. It is hard to keep balance and it takes a mindful effort to maintain balance in everyday life.You have shared ways to strive for balance and I thank you. The new year brought me to Barre3. I have been so grateful to have found this way of life. Not only has Barre3 given me physical changes it has also helped me balance the rest of my life with daily tips and new nutritious recipes to integrate into my eating habits. I value your posts with real life ways to stay balanced!
I adore you friend and appreciate you. SO glad barre3 is in your life!
Great writing on how to be simple and live a healthy life! You are my daily dose of goodness. Thanks for that.
you are mine! <3 miss you
i so wanted you to win! but if the person doesn’t claim the garmin this weekend, I’ll send it to you, ok?
Dang, I will keep my fingers and toes crossed! Make it a grand wkn. x
For me, less planning how to be balance = less stress = more living = more balance in the end. The more I let go, the more I seem to grow, recover, and get stronger emotionally, mentally, and physically. <3
Brittany @ Barr & Table
Balance is something I’m struggling with.. or rather, working to improve everyday. Life is always changing and as I try to figure things out with my new-ish PT career, looking for places to fill in hours for more work ($$$!) while finding new clients and trying to go from 2 jobs, to 3 jobs, to 2 jobs.. let’s just say working for yourself is always all it’s cracked up to be! I just try to take it day by day.
I’m working towards a balance to maintain my weight but it’s all about doing what you can when you can (#wycwyc). You have to listen to what your body wants and needs.
Melissa @ Treats With a Twist
Finding balance in my life is all about letting go of control. This is nearly impossible for me, but in those moments I find balance. When I’m asking for help, when I’m truly engrossed in yoga or meditation, when I’m breathing for presence.
I agree with all of your balanced living points! I also love what you did instead of resolutions. I’m doing something similar with just trying to live more mindfully. Just like healthy living, it’s an ongoing lifestyle change to seek balance, simplicity, mindfulness, etc.Also, I love my fitbit flex, but I REALLY want that Garmin! As I’ve gotten more into fitness I’ve been wishing I had the heart rate monitor and a display on the band.
Takiing myself less seriously and having more fun!
I think balance is all relative, depending on what your priorities are any given moment 🙂 I wrote about it here: http://sweetsweatlife.com/2013/07/26/balance/
can’t wait to read it! thanks Erin! xxoo
kristin | W [H] A T C H
simplicity — yes,yes, yes.
“Asking for help where you need it AND when you need it.” Yep, that one’s definitely for me Lindsay and I should take more notice of it.
I am guilty of just charging on ahead to get things done and not asking for help, which would probably alleviate a lot of stress and give me more personal time in my life.
Good reminder for me. Thanks! 🙂
for me, living a balanced life means realizing that things are not “all or nothing”. Sometimes its just about doing what you can when you can and accepting that its the best you can do and the best you can do is enough – heck it might even not be the best you can do but that’s just part of life, you start again tomorrow!
amen! new start every morning
I have learned to prioritize the things that make me happy (or make other people in my family happy). The rest happens as we have time.
Livi @ Eat, pray, work it out
This is so awesome! Balance is all about trying, not perfection!
I need to reduce the stress in my life. It will help me to find balance. Swimming used to do it for me, but I have no access to a pool now!
Balance for me means not saying yes to everything and taking the time to reflect upon my days to see what I can improve upon when it comes to balance.
Michele @ paleorunningmomma
I love the “recognizing” and “asking” parts because I believe for many people these can be the toughest things, the parts that are tough no matter how hard we work at it! For me, being okay with and not afraid of my weaknesses is a lifelong struggle. Asking for help when I need it? Even harder probably.
My idea of balance is a lot like yours. It’s about taking care of your body by doing what you love. It’s about surrounding yourself with the people you love and who love you, and it’s about being grateful to the Lord for everything.
Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment
I have been pondering this a lot lately myself. There are only so many hours in the day and if you want to make sure you get it all in everything needs to be effective and streamlined if you want to stay healthy. I would love to be one of those people who thrives on litle sleep, but I need a certain amount every night. Accepting who you are and what you need is key.
[email protected] FITSIQUE
Balance for me comes when I make an effort to take time for myself every day through meditation, exercise, or just plain relaxation!
Lisa @ RunWiki
For me personally, living a balanced life means staying organized and learning when and how to say “no.” That little word has been a life saver for my family and I. Then after you say “no” you need to learn to not feel guilty or bad about it.
i’m learning NO each day. YES! haha
Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine
I’ve recently been thinking about this topic quite a bit. It’s always challenging for me to just do what feels good and not follow a specific plan. Lately I have been trying to not worry about running x number of miles but instead running what is working well for my body while also trying to do a variety of different activities!
I’m still trying to find my balance!
Angela @ Happy fit mama
Balance for me is being in a state of imbalance. Life isn’t a cookie cutter perfect affair. Things are constantly off balance and with that comes adjustment.
I was just going to ask you what fitness tracker you were wearing! So glad I found out!
Cara's Healthy Cravings
I think balance for me comes when I am nourishing my body, mind and soul in harmony. Sometimes I focus too much energy on one thing, such as exercise, but neglect the soul and do not spend enough time in prayer, meditation etc. So when I am feeding into all aspects of my life equally, the best I can, balance is much easier to achieve.
Balance for me comes when I am not trying to FORCE balance. 🙂
OH I LIKE THAT NOTION TOO
for me there is no balance at all or ever.
just juggling and harmony.